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By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2017 (Jamul) – Winnie Perry Whitby, the husband of Melissa Whitby, whose dead body was found with upper body trauma on a trail near their Jamul home on Saturday, has previously been charged with murdering two men in Maryland over two decades ago, but was acquitted by a jury.

Whitby was charged with killing his fiancée’s two brothers in 1993.  The case went to trial, but Perry was acquitted in 1995 after the jury found reasonable doubt, the Star Democrat newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper reports, the victims’ parents, his own parents, and his fiancé all maintained Whitby was innocent of the killings.  The purported motive was to protect the life of his cousin, who said his life had been threatened by one of the men killed. 

CBS 8 news reports that Whitby told them off camera that he is cooperating with police and that the last time he saw his wife alive was on Dec. 29, when she left to go to a casino. He said he not interested in speaking publicly because he's been through this "circus" before.  

Whitby reported his wife missing on December 31st.   One day earlier, her coworkers requested a welfare check by authorities when she did not show up to work, according to a 10 News report.

Melissa Whitby, 49 was a nurse who worked part-time at Villa Las Palmas Health Center El Cajon and full-time at the Golden Hills Sub-Acute and Rehabilitation Center

Her body was found by a hiker on a trail about a mile from the couple’s residence.  The County Medical Examiner’s office has ruled her death a homicide. 

No arrests have been made, though neighbors have indicated detectives have taken items including Perry Whitby’s boots for further examination.